Chapel Hill: Obituaries

Lyle Vincent Jones

Lyle Vincent Jones was born March 11, 1924 in Grandview, Washington and died in Chapel Hill April 13, 2016, having led a fulfilling life of 92 years. In 1942, he began his college experience at Reed College, but enlisted immediately after completing his freshman year into active duty in the US Army Air Corps, where he was commissioned as a communications officer. In 1946, having finished his military service, he returned to university, earning his bachelor’s and master’s science degrees in Psychology from the University of Washington in 1947 and 1948, and PhD in Psychology and Statistics from Stanford University in 1950. He then taught at the Universities of Chicago and Texas before coming to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1957, where he served as director of the L. L. Thurstone Psychometric Laboratory and later as Alumni Distinguished Professor. Lyle also served as Vice Chancellor and Dean of the graduate school at UNC from 1969 until 1979. He was managing editor of Psychometrika from 1956 until 1961, President of the Psychometric Society from 1962 to 1963, and president of the American Psychological Association’s Division 5 (Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics) from 1963 to 1964. He was awarded two fellowships at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford CA in 1964-1965 and 1981-1982. Stanford University’s prestigious Ralph W. Tyler book collection includes four items that resulted from these fellowships. Lyle was one of the original architects of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the nation’s report card of achievement for young adults. He began this important work in 1965, which continues 50 years later as part of the National Center for Educational Statistics (<a href="" target="_new"></a>). In 1979, he was the recipient of UNC’s highest honor, the Thomas Jefferson Award. This award recognizes “that member of the academic community who through personal influence and performance of duty in teaching, writing, and scholarship has best exemplified the ideals and objectives of Thomas Jefferson.” In 2004 Lyle received the Sells Award for Distinguished Multivariate Research to recognize his lifetime achievement in multivariate experimental psychology. Lyle retired from the University of North Carolina in 1992. He became Professor Emeritus and continued his active research career, his office at Davie Hall until 2013, and mentoring up until his death to the wonderful benefit of the students and faculty around him. Lyle endowed the Lyle Vincent Jones scholarship at Reed College, as part of his belief in providing “Give Back” opportunities for deserving students. He was very proud of his many successful graduate students, collaborations with treasured colleagues and friendships but most proud of his family; he is survived by his daughter, Susan Edison Hartley, son, Tad Whitcomb Jones, granddaughter Shawna Edison Hartley, niece and nephews back in Washington – Helen Johnson, Reed Price, Curtis Price, Evan Price and their families.He was an avid Carolina fan, reader, traveler, author, editor, collaborator, political adviser, longtime supporter of Doctors without Borders, and tennis, poker, and bridge player. Lyle was a man of life long relationships, a storyteller with an incredible head for names, dates and places, a true gentleman and a scholar. A friend wrote: “The world is a much poorer place without him.” But, oh, how much richer the world is because he was in it!Celebration of life at UNC and Reed College TBA.Guestbook: <a href="" target="_new"></a>